Electronic signage

A neon sign is an electrically or electronically illuminated view advertising.


Neon signs usually consist of a translucent shield behind which a light source ( usually fluorescent lamps, fluorescent tubes, more recently, light emitting diodes and electroluminescent films ) is fitted. Especially for large-scale installations or channel letters with oversized dimensions, the illumination is by conventional CCFL technology still recommended because the luminosity of fluorescent lighting systems over standard LED solutions is higher. For the covering semi-transparent acrylic material is used, which is available in various opaque colors. Plexiglas is weatherproof and ultraviolet- or daylight- resistant and can be very well cut with lasers to contours.

Another type are letters of the name to be advertised by fluorescent lights or cold cathode lamps. This often brings a better appearance, but is technically more complicated. The cold cathode lamps have to be supplied with a high voltage.

Also, LEDs or incandescent lamps can be used to represent a lettering. With light-emitting diodes (formerly also with incandescent lamps) tickers or even large displays are manufactured, the moving color images can represent. Compared with fluorescent tubes is the new LED technology more durable and require less maintenance. For example, a 14 meters long and 3 meters high plant with tubes would cause cost about 5,600 euros stream at a burn time of 4 hours per day in 10 years. With LED power consumption is in the same period at about 700 euros. In addition, the LEDs have a lifespan 40000-60000 hours of operation. In the above example, these are about 25 years. With fluorescent lighting systems, however, falls at least every five years at a service in which the replacement lamp must be custom made.

Sometimes the lighting of office skyscrapers at night is turned on in a certain pattern for very large neon signs.


Neon signs are mounted both in, at or on buildings, occasionally separate advertising towers are built. These are also non-luminous signs, which are illuminated by spotlights used. Neon signs should be installed to protect against graffiti sprayers outside of buildings at a height of about 3 meters, but usually happens for the purpose of better visibility anyway.

Neon signs can also be installed on board of airships. They offer then often a very impressive appearance.


Neon signs can be operated with constant as well as changing lighting, with real light matches are possible. The former are more commonly used by firms, while the latter mainly for farms play a role, that have their principal turnover time during the night time as game rooms, night clubs and discos. Very complex lighting effects can require a permit because they can distract motorists from the traffic.

Exceptional neon signs

A well-known extraordinary neon sign, for example, the Bayer Cross in Leverkusen, which seems to hang at night in the air by his Mounting on two steel posts of 118 meters. With a Logo 51 meters in diameter, the cross is the largest neon sign in the world.

One of the largest neon signs is one of Robert Bosch GmbH and is located on both sides of the A8 tensioned parking garage of the New Stuttgart Trade Fair. The letters of the Bosch lettering are 8 meters high, the associated ignition armature logo measures 12 feet in diameter.

In Leingarten a restaurant used a neon sign, which consisted of LEDs, which was applied to the wings of a fan. The LEDs were driven so that once the fan is turned, gave the name of the restaurant. Especially since you could not see in the dark the fan, the writing in the air seemed to float. According to this principle operating devices can be found, inter alia, as a clock. The required row of LEDs can also move on a cylindrical path.

Since many neon signs have now been dismantled, win shutdowns requirements of monument protection in importance. A particular example is the built in Leipzig in 1973 called " spoon family Leipzig ". It was declared in 1993 by the Free State of Saxony as a cultural monument and is a citizen initiative since 1996 to receive and operated (initially " IG spoon family," now " spoon family eV).

When a disco in Böblingen a neon sign was towards the end of the 1980s used were the letters of fluorescent material and were excited by means of an ultraviolet lamp to light up. These neon signs can be manufactured very easily, but still have a small distribution, since the luminance is quite small and can be seen only in darkness.

Also, airships can carry neon signs. It is also possible to illuminate the inside of the airship.

In houses or walkways moving images can be projected.

A little innovative form of neon sign is the Skybeamer, since virtually no information can be transmitted. Skybeamer be used for localization of discotheques or large events, but they cause a high level of light pollution.

Similar units

  • Traffic signs can be illuminated at night or illuminated from within.
  • The lighting for high buildings is also done with fluorescent tubes.
  • Light fields ( interiors, pedestrian zones) can consist of opaque discs, behind which there are gas discharge lamps. Such areas may also be dimmable or work with different colors. Sometimes special controllers regulate a time of day and daylight brightness and color.
  • Architectural design often includes neon sign of similar technical solutions, such as fluorescent lights to highlight contours or underfloor headlights for illumination of buildings or street trees.